Former president Donald Trump spent more than one and a half hours delivering a rambling, ranting stump speech at a rally meant to support Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance, but spent far more time rehashing old grievances and boasting of purported accomplishments than telling Ohioans why they should vote I endorsed eight days ago.
Mr Vance, a former venture capitalist and author who once described Mr Trump as “cultural heroin” and said the ex-reality television host was leading “the white working class to a very dark place,” spoke several hours before Mr Trump had even arrived at the Delaware, Ohio venue, and hardly spent any time on the same stage as the man whose endorsement he had courted.
Instead, the twice-impeached ex-president, who a California federal judge said “more likely than not” committed crimes during his push to install himself in the White House for a second term against the wishes of voters after he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden only mentioned Mr Vance in passing at the outset of his remarks, telling rallygoers they would “elect an incredible slate of true America First Republicans to Congress,” including sending Mr Vance to the Senate.
With that perfunctory remark out of the way, Mr Trump began what has become a standard performance during his post-presidency period, short on veracity but long on braggadocio and hyperbole.
At one point, he spent nearly ten minutes speaking about a purported Biden administration regulation which he said was causing Americans to not have enough water to wash dishes or bathe themselves.
“In the dishwashers as an example, they had a little problem. What was the problem? They didn’t give you any water. And it was so little water that you couldn’t wash the dishes. So what did people do? They kept pressing. it, do it again. Do it again. Do it again. So by the time you do it 10 times it is finally there. You’ve wasted a lot of electricity, and you spend more water than if you did it right,” he said, adding that he “had a regulation” — purportedly reversed under Mr Biden — what he “let” Americans “have all the damn water you want for your dishes”.
“They’re trying to undo all of the regulation so that when you go into a house, when you go into a house, you can’t get any water,” he continued, adding that Mr Vance and “everybody” would be “ fighting” the purported water regulation in question.
Mr Trump then proceeded to begin retelling a series of lies about the election he lost to Mr Biden in November 2020, which he claimed was “stolen”.
Both Mr Trump and Mr Vance — when he made an appearance next to Mr Trump nearly an hour into the ex-president’s remarks — also repeatedly lied about Mr Biden’s policies towards Russian oil and gas, which Mr Biden banned from US markets by executive order on 8 March.
Yet Mr Trump claimed Russian oil was somehow being imported “through the backdoor” into the United States, though he did not elaborate on his false statement.
Mr Vance, who spoke alongside Mr Trump for approximately two minutes, repeated Mr Trump’s lie by falsely accusing Mr Biden of being “a crazy fake president who will buy energy from Putin” rather than “middle-class Ohioans”.
The former president, who spent the months leading up to his 2020 election defeat falsely claiming that the election would be stolen by mail voting — a method Democrats were expected to employ widely due to the Covid-19 pandemic — also claimed the 2020 election, which his own administration declared to be the most secure in US history, had made America “the laughingstock of the world,” and suggested that the US should ban postal balloting because France’s election results were reported on the same day balloting took place.
Additionally, he again admitted trying to blackmail Nato leaders, boasting that he threatened not to adhere to the mutual defense provisions of Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty if member countries did not increase defense spending to a level he found satisfactory.
He also falsely accused Mr Biden and former president Barack Obama of being responsible for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine, and claimed Russia had “taken everything” under Mr Biden.
Towards the end of his 90-minute stemwinder, Mr Trump inveighed against the House committee investigating his push to prevent Mr Biden from taking office, which culminated in the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814.
He accused Democrats of being a greater threat to the United States than any foreign adversary.
“Just look at the un-select committee of political hacks and what they’re doing to our country while radical left, murderers, rapists and insurrectionists roam free,” he said, adding that the US “does not belong” to Democrats, only to his supporters.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.